Courses: First-Year Seminars

First-Year Seminars are offered every Fall semester for incoming students.  This Spring 2019 semester, there will be a few RHET 195 courses (see below for details) for students who place into this course for their Core A2 Writing Composition requirement. 

Questions can also addressed to the First-Year Seminar Program Coordinator, Associate Professor of Philosophy and Academic Assistant Dean in the College of Arts & Sciences, Jeffrey Paris.

Spring 2019 Courses

Core A2 - Rhetoric and Composition

RHET 195-01 Language and Power
CRN # 22285
Genevieve Leung
Mon., Wed., & Fri. 11:45 a.m.–12:50 p.m.

This FYS examines the rhetoric of nationalism and the ways in which language and power are entwined. We will discursively analyze a diverse range of texts (laws, photographs, advertisements, films): who writes these texts, for what purpose, and with what agenda? How do we analyze past events through the lens of historical context and also current perspectives? How does inclusion/exclusion of certain events, perspectives, and voices impact the outcome of different texts? With a specific focus on how the rhetoric of nationalism has affected (and continues to affect) Asian Pacific Americans, we will link these discourses with other contexts within the U.S. and abroad and consider why issues of cultural (mis)representation must be addressed as we strive for social justice. Together with guest speakers and trips to local sites, we will critically discuss language and power, interact with primary and secondary sources, and craft papers in response to these course themes.

RHET 195-02 Identity Rhetorics
CRN # 22286
Nicole Gonzales Howell
Tue. & Thu. 12:45–2:30 p.m.

Who are you and how do you know?  This course focuses on investigating the role of identity labels/categories and how they influence public and private argument. As a mode of rhetorical argument, ethos is often described as “character and credibility.” We’ll discover how “character and credibility” get defined, and how our own ethos affects our ability to write, argue, and view the world. By exploring identity categories we’ll learn how our “character and credibility” gets established as well as others’. We’ll also consider conversations surrounding the politics of identity labels such as “American,” “Man,” “Woman,” among many others. This course asks students to consider how identity categories get disrupted, complicated, or simplified for multiple purposes! What does it mean to be a “techie” in SF versus Minneapolis? Why might someone call herself Chicana, rather than Hispanic? These and many more questions will be explored while we consider the powerful affect of labeling ones identity. 


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